Watching your Guinea fowls grazing around the yard is indeed a pretty sight. The good news is that they are omnivorous and excellent scavengers. They not only enjoy devouring worms but also consume grains, slugs, caterpillars, plants, and insects.
Unknown to most people, Guineas also love feeding on arachnids. These are species with double segmented bodies like ticks, mites, scorpions, and spiders. Surprisingly, some Guineas never seem to fear stings and would make a daring attempt of feeding on bees. In this piece, we will expound more on this unique feeding habit and whether it is beneficial or not.
Will Guinea Fowls Eat Bees?
Any gardener would be happy to find insect-eating birds in their ranch. After all, anything that helps curb the frustrating aphids, black flies, or caterpillars can be a much-needed savior.
Nonetheless, if the numbers or invertebrates decline, insectivorous birds like Guinea fowls may shift to other options. Bees may sound like an unlikely alternative, but surprisingly, it is not an uncommon sight. In fact, you might notice your birds hunting bees from dandelion plants or even at the bottom part of a hive.
In some cases, Guinea fowls stay at the hive entrance and eat bees to their fill. If you have several Guineas on your farm, the chances are high that they can quickly wipe out your hives. Therefore you have to come up with clear-cut solutions for both creatures to coexist safely.
Are Bees Toxic to Guinea Fowl?
Not unless disturbed, rarely would bees bother your Guineas. Mainly, guard bees fly aggressively around the hives to warn intruders and notify the rest of the colony. Still, some daring birds proceed to feed on this sweet delicacy.
Whether dead or alive, bees are not toxic to Guinea fowls. Given that most Guinea fowls have tufts of feathers around their heads, it is nearly impossible for bee stings to have any significant impact on your birds.
However, in all bee species, Africanized colonies are most sensitive and dread being disturbed. When bothered, they may respond faster and aggressively compared to other varieties.
How to Protect Bees from Guinea Fowl?
Keeping bees is undeniably beneficial to the farmer and the environment at large. Most impressive is the production of delicious and nutritious honey. Honey is one of the most nourishing foods rich in niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic, and ascorbic acid. Also, there are plenty of other nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and manganese.
In addition, bees help in pollinating food crops and wild plants as well. Above all, they are a source of income for beekeepers and anyone involved in honey products. It is then quite unfortunate for beekeepers to lose their insects for whatever reason. Therefore, even if Guineas are helpful around the home, you should not allow them to come close to the hives.
One quick remedy is to ensure that the ground around the hives is not too elevated. Another option is to put a solid wall to keep Guineas and other predators away from the hives.
Although electric fencing can put the birds at risk, remember that it works perfectly well, keeping away other predators like bears. The bottom line is to find a safe way to protect your bees without harming the birds.
Will Bees Sting Guinea Fowl?
Bee stings contain substances known as histamine, melittin, and other amines responsible for itching and pain. Obviously, bees are territorial and attack anything or anyone who comes close to their hives. You may observe the worst case of aggressiveness from honey bee colonies.
While inactive colonies rarely attack, any form of disturbance on active hives may prompt hundreds or thousands of bees to attack the intruder. Undeniably, such a massive attack on Guinea may injure or kill your birds. To avoid such kind of scenario, always segregate the Guineas from your bees.
Do Guinea Fowl Eat Wasps?
Most likely, your feathered friends would go for any insects in the vicinity, including wasps. Wasps mainly build nests in hidden spots away from humans or other threats. This tactic minimizes the number of ugly incidents between wasps and Guinea fowl.
Similar to bees, wasps also sting when provoked. However, they can sting several times because they never lose the stinger. Of course, a single sting from a wasp may not be detrimental. Conversely, an attack from a large colony can be life-threatening.
We all agree that keeping Guinea fowls is pretty beneficial. Apart from guaranteed meat and eggs, you are also assured of effective pest control. Even if pest control is vital, bear in mind that not all insects are harmful to your plants.
Amongst them, butterflies, wasps, ants, and bees aid in pollination and aerating the soil. Thus, try to create a balance in your farm and ensure that Guineas eradicate harmful insects only and not those of assistance.Guineafowls